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Research Guides

CHIN 236: China on the Silver Screen

Key Databases

Search across hundreds of different journals and other publications

To find additional databases relevant to your research interests, go to the Library's A-Z Databases  list and use the Subjects menu. 

Search Tips

Developing good search terms and combining them in meaningful ways can be key to finding the most relevant results. Make note of keywords and subject terms that come up in your initial searches and readings, and try a variety of search combinations. The following strategies work in SuperSearch and most library databases.

  • Use quotation marks " " to search words as a phrase. This will narrow your results.

"tang dynasty"

  • Use AND to combine multiple concepts in your search. This will narrow your results.

"tang dynasty" AND women

  • Use OR to find different ways your search terms might be expressed or different aspects of a topic that might be interchangeable for your purposes. This will expand your results. Group these related terms in parentheses, so the database interprets them first. The following search will find results that contain any of the phrases in parentheses along with "tang dynasty."

(women OR females OR gender) AND ("tang dynasty")

  • Use an asterisk * to find variant endings (e.g., gender, gendered, feminine, femininity, etc.). This will expand your results, because again, you're providing more options.

(gender* OR feminin* OR masculin* OR queer)  AND ("tang dynasty")

Search the Library Catalog

Catalog Search Tips

Why should I search the library catalog?

The library catalog is another way to search for books, ebooks, and videos. Although SuperSearch includes the library catalog, searching the catalog separately can give you a smaller, more focused set of results. While SuperSearch will search inside many books, for example, the library catalog will just search information about each book (what is often called metadata). This can be very helpful for relevancy (since you'll only get results in which your search terms are important enough to be included in the metadata), but it means the specific terms you choose become more important. Try a variety of keywords, and use what you find to find more. You can also use the subject terms to browse related materials.

Try a keyword search. Once you find a book or video that is relevant to your topic, click on the title, then look under Subject to help you find "more like this."

For example, a keyword search for

  • hong kong cinema

leads to linked Subject terms and more books and videos on related topics:


Clicking the first word or phrase above will show you everything listed under the broader topic (e.g., Action and adventure films ). Clicking a subsequent word or phrase will take you to the narrower topic (e.g., clicking "Hong Kong" in Motion pictures > China > Hong Kong > History will show you everything listed under that subtopic of Motion pictures > China).


Once you find a useful subject term, you can also use it to browse related subtopics, by choosing "Browse Alphabetically by Topic" from the menu next to the search box, and entering the subject term.

Not finding enough, or found an item that's checked out? Search WorldCat and request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Don't know where to find a book in the Library? Check out this quick guide.